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Archive for October 3rd, 2019

Homeland Security Official Who Scaled Back Counterterrorism Efforts Is Resigning

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Department of Homeland Security official and presidential appointee will leave his post after scaling back on some counterterrorism efforts involving weapons of mass destruction.

James F. McDonnell, who led the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office, will step down at noon Thursday, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan requested McDonnell’s departure.

In his seven-sentence resignation memo, McDonnell did not give a reason for resigning.

McDonnell has faced criticism earlier this year for promoting a scientifically-disputed system for detection of airborne infectious agents such as anthrax.

McDonnell also directed “the scaling back or elimination of multiple anti-terrorism programs at Homeland Security, which has primary domestic responsibility for helping authorities detect and block WMD-related threats,” The Los Angeles Times wrote.

FBI Runs Facebook Ads to Recruit Russian Spies

FBI’s Facebook ad targeting Russian spies.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is reportedly turning to Facebook in an apparent effort to recruit Russian spies or people who know them.

The bureau recently began running three Facebook ads in with Russian texts over images and illustrations in the Washington D.C. area, CNN first reported.

One of the ads reads, “For your future, for the future of your family,” over a photo of a young woman with her family at her graduation.

The link directs people to the FBI Washington D.C. Field Office’s website for its counter intelligence program and encouragers users to meet “in person.”

The FBI declined to provide specifics about the ads, but one special agent said Russian spies “are very active and pose a security risk.”

“We cannot comment except to note that Russia has a large number of intelligence officers based in Russian diplomatic facilities around the world. They are very active and pose a security risk to the US and our allies,” Alan E. Kohler Jr., special agent in charge of the Washington field office’s counterintelligence division told CNN on Tuesday.

“The FBI uses a variety of means to gather information, including the use of sources,” he said. “The FBI will use all legal means available to locate individuals with information that can help protect the United States from threats to our national security.”

“Russia has long been a counterintelligence threat to the US” and the FBI will “continue to adapt our investigative and outreach techniques to counter the threat,” he added.